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Kids’ Business Fair FAQs

What is the Kids’ Business Fair?

The Kids’ Business Fair inspires children to discover their inner entrepreneurs. This one-day market gives children the opportunity to showcase their very own businesses.

How many businesses will you accept?

We will accept up to 30 businesses.  Applications will close on March 9, 2022.

Do kids have to live in Hilliard?

Nope. We welcome young entrepreneurs from all over! In the past, we’ve had entrepreneurs from Cleveland and we’ve even had guests come the day of the fair that were from Canada!

What should I expect if I sign up?

To sign up for the Kids’ Business Fair, each kid-run business will apply HERE and pay a $25 registration fee. After receiving your application, you will receive an email within 3 business days to confirm the receipt of your application and fee. About a month prior to the fair, the kid-run businesses will need to attend a mandatory Business Planning Meeting in which the date and location are still to be determined, and attendance can be either in person or virtually (more details will be sent in communication after applying). See below for more information about this event. On the day of the fair, the kid-run businesses need to arrive at 8a to start setting up for the start of the fair at 9a. Parents are to remain in their car for drop-off as local volunteers from area Key Clubs and Circle K groups will be available to help the kid-businesses unload their gear and set up. Children will receive a t-shirt that they are encouraged to wear while at the fair. Parents will not be permitted to be at the fair until opening at 9 am. (We are willing and able to accommodate any special circumstances for your child). Immediately following the close of the fair, there will be a rewards ceremony for the participants and their families. At this time various certificates, medals, trophies, and rewards will be presented to the participants. During the fair, there will be judges going around to determine “Most Potential Success,” “Most Creative,” and “Best Presentation” which will be broken down by age group. 

How do I apply? Can I apply as part of a group?

Applications must be submitted online. Please submit one application for each business. Children working as a group should submit one application that includes each child’s information. No more than 3 participants per business.

When is the Deadline to apply? 

March 9, 2022. Apply here.

What is on the application?

The application asks kids to think through some simple, but important elements of their business:

  • What product or service do you plan to sell?
  • What price will you charge for each product/service? How much will each product/service cost you?
  • How will you pay for your startup costs? If someone is helping you with your startup costs, how will you pay that person back?
  • How will you advertise/market your business before the fair?
  • At the end of the fair, how will you determine if your business was a success?

What if someone else has the same business idea?  

Two cupcake businesses? Not a problem. In general, we will let market forces play out, though we will let later entries know if another applicant has a similar idea so the later entrant can decide what to do.

How will the fair be set up?

The fair will be an indoor event. Each business will be given a space for its booth. Businesses can bring their own tables. Should they need a table the business will be assigned HALF an 8-foot table (to share with one other business). Table cloths will not be provided. We are not able to accommodate businesses requiring electricity. Please NO tents or pop-up canopies, we will be inside.

Will electricity be available?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide electricity to the booths.

What are the rules? 

This event is designed to give children the experience of selling a product or service. If a parent is found selling or promoting a child’s product or service, their child’s business will be disqualified from receiving any rewards at the closing ceremony.

The children should be responsible for coming up with their own business ideas and plans and should be responsible for creating/sourcing/providing their own products and/or services. On the day of the fair, they are responsible for their own setup, customer interaction, and sales. Volunteers will be available to help children at their booth. At no time is a parent/grandparent/guardian allowed behind the booth. They are VERY WELCOME to be their customers!

My child would like to participate but is younger or not able to do EVERYTHING on their own. Can they still participate?

Of course! Our goal is for the kids to be as independent as possible but they may need help with some things. For example, parents may help them navigate to the application and pay the fee, but they should have their child dictate the answers to the questions to them. Perhaps your child wants to bake cookies, we certainly do not want them in harm’s way so please help them with the oven and putting in and taking out the cookies, but they should be the ones mixing together the ingredients. Just please be mindful that we do not expect perfection, we want to see what the kids can do and that absolutely means things will be messy, perhaps incomplete in our eyes, or not picture perfect. That is OK! We want genuine, kid-run businesses and completely understand what that means, and more than likely they may surprise you when given free rein. For the awards, kids will be grouped with similar age groups so by no means is a 6-year-olds business being compared to a 16-year-olds. 

What precautions will be made in regards to COVID-19?

We will take whatever precautions are recommended at that time from both the CDC and local health organizations and keep you up-to-date on any mandates that will be required. Everyone’s health and safety is of utmost importance. If at any point we feel that it is not safe to proceed with the fair as scheduled we will provide communication as soon as we know. 

What is the Kids’ Business Planning Meeting?

The Kids’ Business Planning Meeting is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to connect and receive feedback about their business ideas and plans. We will have a short presentation going over everything that the kids need to consider to prepare for the big day and then they will be split into small groups and connected with a business mentor (local business owners and community partners) to receive more individualized recommendations about their business. 

Is there anything else I should know about?

Due to the current restrictions in place because of COVID 19, we are going to postpone the Kids’ Business Fair from the October 23, 2021 date. Not only has there been an extremely low number of applicants but we were going to pair the business fair with a Kiwanis Halloween pancake breakfast to help draw a big crowd of shoppers for the kids. The Halloween pancake breakfast has had to be canceled so I think it will be most beneficial for the kids to hold off until spring for the Kids’ Business Fair. We have chosen the date of April 9th, 2022 as the new date for the fair. There will be the Kiwanis Easter bunny pancake breakfast at the same time as the fair.  By doing this, we hope to enable the kids that are participating in the business fair to have a big crowd. We will still hold a workshop for the kids to review their business plans but a little closer to the fair date.

What if my child cannot afford the registration fee necessary to participate?

We want all children to experience the confidence-boosting creativity and hard work needed to start their own business. Money should not hinder any child from participating. If your child needs financial assistance to start their business, Hilliard Kiwanis is offering scholarships to cover the cost of the admission fee. Please contact us at hilliardkidsbusiness@gmail.com.

You mentioned an awards ceremony, what is that?

The awards ceremony is our opportunity to recognize all the amazing kids that participated and their accomplishments. It will immediately follow the close of the fair at 11 am. Kids will remain at their booths while we hand out certificates, medals, trophies, and prizes! During the fair, judges will be around to ask the kids questions about their businesses. Each age group will be awarded, “Most Potential Success,” “Most Creative,” and “Best Presentation.” In order to qualify for these awards, there must not be any indication or suspicion that the parents were involved with doing their work for them.